Love Hope Strength Foundation turns musical treks and extreme concerts into Tanzania's First Cancer Center Dedicated to Children.
When the Love Hope Strength Foundation (LHS) was created in 2007, its founders envisioned using the power of music to help people from all walks of life gain access to cancer screening, treatment and support that first world citizens enjoy in places such as the United States and the U.K. With the opening of the first-of-its-kind cancer complex dedicated to children in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that vision is taking hold in a region where cancer is not at the forefront of most minds.
On Tuesday, February 8, 2011 Mike Peters, LHS co-founder and front man for popular Welsh band, The Alarm, will join representatives of The Tanzanian Ministry of Health, Ocean Road Cancer Institute, the Muhimbili National Hospital and The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) as well as local and international supporters and children stricken with cancer, to cut the ribbon on Tanzania's first ever cancer wards devoted entirely to children.
The pediatric complex, comprised of two wards on the campus of the Muhimbili National Hospital, has been adorned with the words "Tumaini, Upendo, Ujasiri ", Swahili for Love, Hope, Strength.
"Few things are more rewarding in life as the feeling people get when they join forces to help improve the lives of children," said Mike Peters. "All the agony so many experienced climbing Kilimanjaro, Pikes Peak and Mt Fuji is completely overshadowed by the knowledge that our collective efforts will help children in Tanzania in a very real way. We are all proud, yet humbled to help open the new Tumani, Upendo, Ujasiri wards".
LHS funded the project through The Ocean Road Cancer Institute, both of whom are members of the UICC. The project included provision of permits, design plans, rehabilitation and site sanitation, electric work and plumbing, structuring the prep and chemo rooms, site security and administration, IT and office development, installation of clinical equipment, hospital beds, as well as furniture and artwork for all public areas. The state of the art facility will house 32 new beds where they will treat over 500 children with cancer this year alone.
LHS, which raised the majority of funds for the center from recent star-studded and music-fueled pilgrimages to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Fuji and Pikes Peak, has now contributed to the fight against cancer on six continents in its four year history. The grand opening puts an exclamation on Love Hope Strength's global efforts to save lives, one concert at a time.
In the U.K., LHS has helped The North Wales Cancer Centre at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd Hospital (funding helped build the Eira Suite antibody unit), The Alaw Unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital (which used it's funding to buy two Stem Cell Harvest Machines), and hospices at St. Kentigerns, St. David's and Ty Gobaith. The foundation has also worked with the Anthony Nolan Trust and UK parliament to commence saliva based bone marrow donor testing, a solution that will drastically increase the number of donors registered to become life saving donors for patients in need. In addition, LHS delivered Nepal its first mammography and brachytherapy machines and its Australian branch raised funds to support 3 vehicles that transport children and adults to and from cancer treatments.
LHS is also building upon its recent success from conducting over 250 bone donor registration drives done in conjunction with DKMS Americas at concerts and conferences, hospitals and special events around the United States. Through those efforts, LHS has signed on nearly 10,000 newly registered donors, which has already resulted in 50 potentially life-saving matches for patients in need of bone marrow transplants.